Ocean acidification and warming have large-scale impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems. To evaluate effects of these stressors, two foundational algal species in the Salish Sea were chosen, Fucus gardneri and Nereocystis luetkeana. Using Fucus, we evaluated how a wide range of pH levels (8.0-6.0) impacts embryonic development. During exposure to acidic conditions, embryos were capable of germination and forming a rhizoid on time. However, rhizoid elongation was significantly reduced. In a second study, we found that Nereocystis zoospores developed normally when incubated at 10 or 15°C. However, significant reductions in germination were observed when zoospores were exposed to 17.5°C while many lysed at 20°C. In addition, more of the N. luetkeana sampled from a population growing in the warmer region (Stanley Park) were able to maintain low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) when exposed to 17.5°C than N. luetkeana collected from a population living at a cooler site (French Beach).
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Thesis advisor: Bisgrove, Sherryl
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